October 7, 2016
2015 -16 ACCOUNTABILITY PILLAR RESULTS IN
The Government of Alberta has released the results of this year’s Accountability Pillar. Many of the measures in which Grasslands has excelled in the past are also strengths this year. All of the following very important measures were rated high or very high: Safe and Caring, Program of Studies, Education Quality, Drop Out Rate, High School Completion Rate, Work Preparation, Citizenship, Parental Involvement, and School Improvement.
It is particularly gratifying to see that the Drop Out Rate is significantly lower than it is in the rest of the province and the three-year High School Completion Rate is 80.8%, compared to 76.5% for Alberta as a whole. The focus on high school completion has resulted in improvement from the previous year, when it was 77.8%, and the previous three-year average, which was 74%. There were several other important areas in which the 2015-2016 results were better than the previous three-year average. These were: Safe and Caring, Education Quality, Diploma Participation Rate, Work Preparation, Citizenship and School Improvement.
Grasslands decided this year not to participate in the continuing pilot of the Grade Three Student Learning Assessments. Grasslands will concentrate on the use of our data on student reading levels and teacher assessments to enhance student learning at the primary level.
Grade Six results on the Provincial Achievement Tests were strong in some of our schools but, as a division, not as good as they have been in past years. In addition to our literacy emphasis, this year Grasslands has employed two experienced teachers of mathematics to assist our teachers in the delivery of the mathematics curriculum. The emphasis will be on hands-on approaches and the development of the mathematical confidence that is essential for our students to be strong problem solvers.
There was improvement in division results in all subjects on the Grade Nine PAT’s this past year. The exam average was higher in Mathematics and Science and the percentage of students achieving the Acceptable Standard increased in Language Arts, Math, and Science; the percentage of students who achieved the Standard of Excellence increased in all four subject areas. The following were higher than those for the province as a whole: Participation rates in English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies, the percentage who achieved the Acceptable Standard in ELA and Science and the Standard of Excellence in Social Studies.
Performance on Diploma exams will be a focus for our high schools this upcoming year. The teachers who have worked with students for the whole year are in the best position to assess their performance but the Diploma results cannot be ignored and it is necessary to identify strategies that will assist students to improve their results.
Superintendent David Steele stated “We are very proud of the work of our students, teachers and other employees in developing good citizens for the community, province and country. Although provincial tests are only one measure, they are important indicators for us, and in the case of Diplomas, important in determining the post-secondary doors that are open to students. We will continue to work on identifying the priority outcomes from various curricula, developing common assessments, implementing effective interventions when necessary, and improving student results.”